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Suns’ all-time leading scorer Walter Davis named Class of 2024 Hall of Fame finalist

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Phoenix Suns’ all-time leading scorer Walter Davis is among 14 finalists for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame announced Feb. 16.

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The formal announcement for who will make the 2024 Hall of Fame class will be on April 6 at the NCAA Men’s Final Four in Phoenix.

Davis was one of six finalists by the North American committee. Chauncey Billups, Vince Carter, Michael Cooper and coaches Bo Ryan and Charles Smith round out the other five names.

Remembering Davis’ career

Davis, who passed away at age 69 due to natural causes on Nov. 2, 2023, was the fifth overall pick of the Phoenix Suns in the 1977 NBA Draft. In his very first game against the Golden State Warriors, Davis scored 20 points, grabbed six rebounds, and had five steals. The former North Carolina Tar Heel shot 10-for-19 from the floor that night.

Davis built off of this to have one of the best rookie seasons of all-time. He averaged 24.2 points, six rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game while shooting 52% from the floor. This culminated into a Rookie of the Year award.

He would go on to play for the Phoenix Suns for 11 seasons averaging 20.5 points per game and shooting 52% from the floor. Davis’ silky smooth jump shot led to him being called, “The Man with the Velvet Touch”.

In his 11 seasons with Phoenix, Davis would be selected to six All-Star teams and two All-NBA teams. He was a major part of some of the best teams in Suns’ history. The 1978-79 team made to the Western Conference fFnals and lost to the eventual NBA champion Seattle SuperSonics in seven games. The 1983-84 Suns also made it to the Western Conference finals and lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in six games.

Davis was extremely consistent during his career which led to him scoring 15,666 points while in a Suns’ uniform. He is still the all-time leader in points scored for the Phoenix Suns. After leaving the Suns, Davis would go to play for Denver Nuggets and Portland Trailblazers before retiring after 1991-92 season.

After his playing career Davis was a broadcaster for the Denver Nuggets and a scout for the Washington Wizards. In 1994 the Phoenix Suns retired his jersey and now Davis’ number hangs in the new Suns Ring of Honor at the Footprint Center.

Suns’ Legend Walter Davis Passes Away at Age 69

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Brendan Mau is a senior writer covering the Phoenix Suns and more for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on X via @Brendan_Mau

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